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Srijit Mukherji is an Indian film director and screenwriter who predominantly works in Bengali cinema. His regular collaboration with veteran superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee brought him into the limelight. His first feature film Autograph (2010), was a critical and commercial success, where he had written the script with Chatterjee in mind. His fifth film, Jaatishwar, won four national awards at India's 61st National Film Awards (2014). He won the National Film Award for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for his sixth film, Chotushkone, at India's 62nd National Film Awards. His eighth film, Rajkahini had been remade into a Hindi film titled, Begum Jaan, starring Vidya Balan in 2017. His 2018 release Ek Je Chhilo Raja won the 'Best Bengali Film' Award at India's National Film Awards.
Mukherji on screening of Begum Jaan
Mukherji completed his schooling from Dolna Day School, Kolkata and South Point High School, Kolkata, before studying economics at Presidency College, Kolkata. He went on to complete his MA and M.Phil in environmental economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, parallelly working as a social scientist in the Urban Transport and Pollution Sector with TERI in New Delhi. He quit his Ph.D while in his first year, to join IRI Symphony, Bangalore as an econometrician and business analyst. After working in Bangalore and a brief stint in Milan, he quit his job to actively pursue theatre and films.
Even while working as an economist and statistician, he was actively involved with the English professional theatre circuit in Delhi and Bangalore. He has acted in Madness, adapted from Paulo Coelho's Veronica Decides To Die; Manoj Mitra's The Orchard of Banchharam; Badal Sircar's The Other Side of History; Sunil Ganguly's Pratidwandi – The Adversary, adapted for the stage from Satyajit Ray's film of the same name and Lucknow 76. He wrote and directed Mindgame, an Indian adaptation of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men, at the Alliance Francaise De Bangalore in 2006. In April 2008, he formed his own troupe, Pandora's Act, whose first production, Feluda Pherot! at Rangashankara in July 2008 was a runaway success and was the first ever non-canonical dramatisation of Satyajit Ray's sleuth Feluda. Barun Chanda, Ray's leading man in Seemabodhho, and Parambrata Chatterjee, the screen Topshe and film youth icon, starred in this production. In 2009, he wrote, directed and acted in the English play Checkmate, a non-canonical re-interpretation of Byomkesh Bakshi, Saradindu Bandopadhyay's sleuth. He was an assistant director, lyricist and actor in both Anjan Dutt's Madly Bangalee and Aparna Sen's Iti Mrinalini, in 2009. He has also written lyrics for films like Cross Connection, Le Chakka and Josh, TV serials like Coffee and More and Dadagiri and non-film albums of Usha Uthup.
In 2010 Mukherji directed his debut feature film, the award-winning blockbuster – Autograph which was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. The film won 41 awards and was an official selection at Abu Dhabi International Film Festival 2010, MIAAC Film Festival in New York 2010, Glasgow International Film Festival 2011 and London Indian Film Festival 2011.
His work in 2011 included a major role in Anindya Banerjee's Chaplin starring Rudranil Ghosh and his second film, Baishe Srabon starring Prosenjit Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee, Raima Sen, Abir Chatterjee and Gautam Ghose, who returned to acting after a hiatus of 29 years. Baishe Srabon was recently the official selection at the Dubai International Film Festival and the closing film at the London Indian Film Festival, and had a 105-day run at the box office making it the biggest blockbuster of the year. Baishe Srabon has won 41 awards. His third feature film was Hemlock Society, a romantic satire set at the backdrop of a school which teaches aspirants how to successfully commit suicide. It featured Parambrata Chatterjee and Koel Mallick and won 21 awards.
Mukherji's fourth film, Mishawr Rawhoshyo, based on Kakababu with Prasenjit Chattopadhyay playing the lead character has been declared as one of the biggest blockbusters ever and the highest earning urban mainstream film. He has recently acted in films like Dutta Vs Dutta, Bapi Bari Jaa and the national award-winning Shobdo. His fifth film Jaatishwar is generally considered to be the best in his career and most critically acclaimed. It is the musical bridge between two centuries of Bengali culture and a biopic cum a musical cum a reincarnation drama. At the 61st National Awards 2014, the highest film honour in India, it won 4 national awards for Music Direction, Playback Singing, Costume and Make up. This was the highest tally for a film in India this year, and the second highest ever for a Bengali film. It also swept the Mirchi Music Awards in 2015 winning 7 awards. The following year at the 62nd National Awards 2015, Chotushkone won him the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay awards, along with winning the Best Cinematography.
He also received the Young Achiever Award from Rotary International, the prestigious Shera Bangali Award from ABP Anando and the Shoilojanando Mukhopadhyay Memorial Award in 2012 for his contribution in the field of film direction. In 2013 he received the Uttam Kumar Memorial Award from the Government of West Bengal becoming the youngest director to achieve this. He has also received the oldest film award in India, the BFJA award, for remarkable contribution to Bengali Cinema in the last few years.
Mukherji has made his directorial debut in Bollywood with the film Begum Jaan which is a remake of his earlier Bengali film Rajkahini. Vidya Balan plays the lead role of a brothel's madam during the partition of India in 1947.
In 2018, it was reported that Mukherji will be directing a Junglee Pictures produced yet to be titled web-series in Hindi, based on the novel of noted novelist and blogger Arnab Ray, The Mahabharata Murders. This will be his first foray into web-series direction.
He is also working on another web-series based on twelve short stories of Satyajit Ray named Feluda Pherot. Here Tota Roychoudhuri will be seen as feluda, Kalpan Mitra as topse and Anirban Chakraborty as Lal Mohanbabu, popularly known as Jatayu.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
Dag Creative Media
Shree Venkatesh Films
|Ek Je Chhilo Raja||Yes||Yes|
|Sportswoman Biopic with Sohini Sarkar||Yes||Yes|
|Lawho Gourangour Naam Re||Yes||Yes||SVF, Match Cut Productions|
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- "66th National Film Awards: Full winners list". India Today. Ist. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
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- Sen, Jaideep. "Retirement Holmes". Time Out Bengaluru. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
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- "Interview – SRIJIT MUKHERJEE". Washington Bangla Radio. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Das, Mohua (15 May 2009). "Playpreview". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Chakrabarty, Pooja. "Autograph is not a remake of Nayak". ILK. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
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- "Hemlock is far from a morbid film: Srijit Mukherji". Times of India. 24 March 2012. p. 3. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Vidya Balan on the write track with Kamala Das". Mumbai Mirror. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Srijit Mukherji makes his acting debut with 'Begum Jaan' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- "Raazi co-producer Junglee Pictures to adapt The Mahabharata Murders for digital debut; Srijit Mukherji will helm web series". Firstpost. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- Kahlon, Sukhpreet. "My belief, hope, faith in humanity is something I cling on to: Srijit Mukherji at Habitat Film Festival". Cinestaan.com. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- "Sohini to play Swapna Barman in biopic - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Here's why Jisshu Sengupta wants to reprise Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2020.